Monday, November 25, 2013

Argentina: Humanoids at Pampa de Agnia, Chubut (1978)

Source: Planeta UFO
Date: 11.25.2013

Dr. Roberto Banchs: Humanoids at Pampa de Agnia, Chubut (1978)

Driving two F-100 pickup trucks, Alfredo Giannoni and Jorge Castillo were faced with the prospect of a 634 kilometer drive along National Route 25, linking the communities of Trelew and Esquel, communities located in the Province of Chubut.

They had departed at 19:00 hours on 12 October 1978, driving at an average speed of 80 Kmh. Upon reaching the Las Chapas Wilderness, Castillo overtook his companion and remained at a close distance. Around 22:00, and some 10-15 Km after Las Plumas, in the Los Altares Valley, Castillo was startled to see a small light in the sky through the windshield: it increased in magnitude, toward the right and running distantly to the left.

As the source of silvery light grew in intensity, Castillo’s disquiet toward the phenomenon also rose. He decided to stop and consult with Giannoni about the observation, who unhesitatingly tells him it is a “flying saucer”

The shocking presence of the UFO: After filling up, the headed to the restaurant of the Automovil Club hostelry, where they state having eaten fish and consumed some cold sodas. Feeling considerably more tranquil, they discussed their experience with the person running the location – which we have been able to confirm – and renewed their journey at 02:15 in the morning. They would stop every so often along the road, chatting a while to keep from falling asleep and staying close to each other at a 30 meter distance. Giannoni was up ahead until he stopped at a given point, complaining of a headache, and saying he could go no further. Castillo replied that he would go ahead, as they were very near their destination. At that time, he was about to get down from the pickup truck when both men witnessed an object measuring 3 meters in diameter with an intense white, phosphorescent light that appeared to emit a sound similar to that of a teletype machine (“beep-beep-beep”). The object was suspended one meter above the ground and some 10 meters from the startled witnesses. Upon seeing this portent, Jorge Castillo entered the pickup truck while Alfredo Gianonni – still drowsy and feeling the headache – managed to quickly pull away from the site.

It was then that UFO rose into the air, making itself plainly visible in a matter of seconds. Castillo, stepping on the gas, managed to catch up with his traveling companion.
The strange occupants: In these conditions, a startled Jorge Castillo looked through his rear view mirror and saw “a thing with many lights and two square things in the rear of the pickup truck” where he carried four drums of ink for the Esquel newspaper in the city of the same name.

After having driven some 10 kilometers and around 3 in the morning, near Pampa de Agnia – a locality that only appears on the map – Castillo looked through the mirror again and saw four “square” figures in the payload that appeared to be “looking” at the drums. He continued driving nervously, glancing at the figures without stopping. According to one version of the story (2), upon delivering the ink, operators found it to be much more fluid than previous deliveries from the same factory and lot number.

They had covered another 15 kilometers prior to going up a long, steep rise when Giannoni, who was following closely but without seeing anything odd, said he was going to stay behind, as he was fatigued. Curiously enough, Castillo said that he could still see the humanoid figures through the mirror as well as an oval grey cloud that appeared to follow him on the side. Nonetheless, the witness gave the impression of contradicting himself when he points out Giannoni’s location with regard to his own. It is necessary to add here that at no point did Giannoni see or become aware of the presence of the alleged occupants, despite the fact that they shouted to each other from within the cabs of their pickup trucks, driving close together along the road.

When he saw those figures, Castillo was driving at some 70 Kmh (bear in mind that the vehicles were in a break-in period) and when he turned on the cabin lights to see if the beings were still behind him, since the sight couldn’t be clear, he noticed to his surprise that there was nothing there, just the four ink drums. However, when he turned off the light, he could see them once more.
View of the mountains: Alfredo Giannoni could go no further and decided to stop a while to sleep. Castillo, on the other hand, chose to continue the trip with great fear. Upon reaching a steep rise, he noticed that “the mountains on the side of the road joined as if they were made of rubber – they joined together and shut the road before me. Perhaps I was ill and grabbing my head, I stopped and thought: do I go through or not go through, will they take me away or not take me away…” However, moments after turning off his lights, the mountains returned to their rightful places. Suddenly, he sees two humanoids approaching him swiftly, walking along the desolate Patagonian road. They were a meter and a half tall, looking like astronauts in white outfits. Upon seeing them, he turned on the lights again and the disquieting vision vanished. He figures that it lasted barely a second.

Facing this circumstance, he tried in vain to go and find Giannoni, as he was exhausted and with a pounding headache, and pain in his arm. His pickup truck was diagonally across the road, with all of its lights on. He tumbled onto the seat, covering himself with some rugs he carried as samples, allowing an indefinite period of time to go by. Giannoni appeared out of nowhere, urging him to continue the trip. Traveling at 80 kmh, Castillo was some 10 to 20 meters behind, all the time seeing the mysterious cloudy object through his rear view mirror.

An unusual turn of events? : With less than 60 km to reach Esquel, in the vicinity of the Tecka River, Giannoni’s pickup truck “slid on the shoulder and went up in the air, landing in a very deep ditch,” according to the description given by Castillo, who did not hesitate in ascribing it to the strange phenomenon he was seeing, adding that the vehicle “was lifted from the front, without overturning any cement barriers, passing over them as though lifted. Furthermore, there’s nothing broken on it. Just a dented roof, as if they’d lifted it and turned it around.” Giannoni rested against the steering wheel, and while somewhat bruised and with a clamped leg, he exclaimed that he was okay. Castillo then got down rendering assistance and getting the motor going again with the lights on. He brought his companion back to his own pickup and they arrived in that vehicle, reaching Esquel after 6 in the morning.

An Analysis of the Case

Upon performing our investigation, approximately one year after the event had taken place, we covered the 634 kilometers that Alfredo Giannoni and Jorge Castillo covered between 12-13 October 1978, passing through the localities of Trelew, Las Plumas, Paso de Indios, Pampa de Agnia, Rio Tecka and Esquel. With the exception of areas near the communities that were the origin and destination of the journey, the vast Patagonian region crossed by the witnesses has desert-like, desolate characteristics – an obligatory crossing between both southern communities and a nexus between the Atlantic coast and the Andean Range.

A cursory review of the report shows that the alleged anomalous events described by the witnesses are the following:

a. Sighting of an unusual aerial phenomenon.
b. Sighting of humanoids that vanish swiftly before Castillo’s eyes.
c. A vision of mountains that close the road before him.
d. Unsual overturning of Gianonni’s pickup truck.
e. Story involving a suggestive change in the density of the ink being transported.

In order to properly answer these riddles, we collected valuable eyewitness reports and background information that enabled us to make an accurate reconstruction of what happened that morning and put forth a few thoughts.

The aerial phenomenon: The UFO apparently presents three discernible phases that correspond to various situations of the journey. It begins as a dot of increasing luminous magnitude, followed by an aeroform with an arc of circumference, and ends as a small oval cloud that gives the impression of following the experiencers. It has not been formally established whether it was the same phenomenon, with the identification of the final phase as an “unusual phenomenon” being highly questionable due to its resemblance with a cloudy formation of natural origin and by the emotional circumstances under which said aerial element was observed. On the other hand, the second image of the object, being closer and better defined, suggests another effort at an explanation. In this regard, the Moon was in its 11th waxing phase, with 89.32% of its face illuminated at 3 in the morning toward the south (where the alleged UFO was seen, as we assume), azimuth 190 86’, declination of -5 1 min 4 sec., that is to say, barely rising over the horizon (source: C. Demaría), which would coincide with the location of the “intensely white luminous object” (it should also be noted that the Moon, close to the horizon, appears large due to the fact that the atmosphere acts as a giant lens).

We cannot provide, at the moment an adequate interpretation for the distant initial light source. All told, this is the phase that causes true motivation among the witnesses, arising as the doubt as to what they were seeing (“Giannoni, what do you see up there? “It’s a flying saucer, he told me” – J. Castillo). The second and eloquent phase causes them profound shock, which manifests as a feeling of terror, causing inhibition is the one, and a flight response in the other (“I asked Giannoni, what we should do? Without saying a word, he took off first at high speed.” – J. Castillo). The third image seen, only by Castillo, is very ambiguous (“Looking off to the side, I was always escorted by a little oval shape, a cloud…” – J. Castillo). It is essential to add that this phase of the sighting – and others mentioned later on – take place after a truly traumatic situation and as the byproduct of seeing a phenomenon that they found disturbing.
Beings in the dark: It is possible to agree that the above induced phantasmagoria, that is to say, the representation of figures through an optical illusion or the deformation of reality, believing that he could see – in the darkness, and always through the rear-view mirror – four humanoid entities on his pickup truck’s payload, where there are precisely four drums of ink, denoting a similar ambiguity.

When the 31-year-old witness turned on the light “to see if those things were there, and could see nothing,” it is unquestionable that the fear of the dark also played an overwhelming road, erupting into his unconscious fantasies. It isn’t sheer chance that despite the lack of ambient light, the sense of being chased or spied upon is what he noticed in the alleged entities’ eyes, “as though they were looking at me.” Castillo appears sincere in his statements, but is prone to contradictions when he recalls the location of his companion, who never gets to see the alleged humanoids, not even when they were allegedly still on the payload, and Giannoni stopped beside the vehicle driven by Castillo. Further reinforcing our thesis, it should be noted that he did not witness any of the extraordinary phenomena Castillo claims occurred after the abrupt and shocking approach of the UFO. This, then, is significant. Equally suspicious is the sighting of the figures “walking along the road”, taking what has been stated into consideration and its brief duration, barely a second.

The major obstacles: Another event that can cause astonishment takes place after Castillo drove through the hazardous part of the road (straight road, zig-zag and steep slope). He notices with terror that “both parts of the mountain join together as though made of rubber…they join and block the way ahead...” The sensation of being pinned by the mountains reminds of the fear of major obstacles that keep him from moving forward and cause him to join up with his companion once more. This visionary experience is interesting, and it seems obvious to add that the mountains did not move from their places. However, one can be lead to think, with a certain flight of the imagination that this visual illusion could have been brought upon Castillo by the UFO occupants. In such a case, one would have to suppose that the four figures were also illusions caused by…four drums of ink.

The overturned vehicle: We received ample cooperation from Salim Bestene, manager of the Ford dealership in Esquel, who advised us that both pickup trucks were being brought to his dealership from Buenos Aires, with Giannoni and Castillo being responsible for driving them from Trelew to their destination. This information, arising from questioning, are uniquely important, since some strange aspects of the case were still pending explanation, such as the unusual overturning described by Castillo and the alleged invulnerability of the pickup truck after the accident. Dispelling any doubts in this regard, he contradicts all of Castillo’s statements, indicating that the vehicle had significant damage: the cab roof, the entire left side and the front wheels. Since the pickup was swiftly repaired, he provided us with the only photographs resulting from the accident, in which the vehicle shows significant dents on the indicated places. We must note that the investigation performed by the insurance company points out that it was a “common overturn”. While Bestene believes in the existence of UFOs and the likelihood that Giannoni and Castillo truly witnessed one such phenomenon, he believes this to have been “an ordinary accident caused by a sideways movement of the pickup truck on the shoulder when its driver fell asleep at the wheel.” This unequivocal explanation reminds us of the driver’s constant fatigue and sleepiness throughout the long journey.

Bestene also confirms the rumors that Giannoni had not driven for a long time, and how this could have been a factor in causing the accident. However, in one of the interviews we held with Giannoni, he states – to the contrary – that he was driving during the three years he remained in Esquel, having moved shortly after to Buenos Aires to work as a provisioning manager for an airline company. Alfredo Giannoni tried to postpone the interview on several occasions, being somewhat reticent about discussing the matter in depth. He acknowledged that the pickup truck was seriously damaged, remarking on the vivid impression caused by the tumble and referring constantly to Castillo’s description in explaining the characteristics of the overturn (“According to Castillo, my vehicle literally flew through the air at 2 meters over the pavement.”) However, what he found most inexplicable about the event is how he emerged uninjured from the accident, which occurred suddenly and without realizing what had taken place.

Finally, regarding the story that the ink conveyed in twenty-liter tanks was found to be more liquid than usual in subsequent days – which would add a new strangeness factor to the episode – we consulted Oreste Massacese, secretary of the Esquel newspaper’s newsroom, and several operators, who stated that “no change was noted” in the ink with regard to other batches received.

Final Considerations

Ultimately, the fatigue caused by the trip, the pronounced sleepiness and headache, the strong and constant nervous tension to which the men were subjected – Castillo in particular – and the perception of a variety of external stimuli, caused a set of extraordinary visions in a personality seemingly vulnerable to events of this sort, which on this occasion have not been the direct manifestation of an anomalous phenomenon, and perhaps more aptly what someone called “the great fear of the unknown.” Jorge Castillo knows this. At least the peaceful transit of time has allowed him to question the events and reflect: “Perhaps my eyes were playing tricks on me…”


Zerpa Fabio, Los hombres de negro y los ovnis, Plaza & Janes, E. de Llobregat, Barcelona, España, 1979, pages 113/123.
[1] This article originally appeared in Los Identificados. Casuística ovni con ocupantes en Argentina, N° III, Buenos Aires, July 1993, pages 17-22.
[2] Cuarta Dimensión, Buenos Aires, No. 66 (August 1979), Pgs. 36/42.

[Translation © 2013, Scott Corrales, IHU with thanks to Guillermo D. Giménez, Planeta UFO; The NetCentinell and VISIÓN OVNI]